For more children, dinner is coming from Uncle Sam

BRATTLEBORO, VT. (AP) - More low-income school kids could soon have access to free nutritious dinners. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering reimbursements for meals served to at-risk kids in after-school programs in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

This year the program expanded to Vermont. The USDA says about 49,000 children benefit from the after-school meals each day. Officials say the need is growing. A USDA report says the number of Americans who live in food-insecure households rose to 49 million people in 2008.

That's up from 36 million in 2007. The report defines food-insecure households as homes that at times don't have enough nutritious food. The report says 16.7 million children were among those living in such households in 2008.

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